Four Lectures with Sandra Uskokovic and Boris Bakal

Urban Culture Lab is happy to present a series of lectures by two urban scholars and artistic organizers, Sandra Uskokovic and Boris Bakal, from Croatia. During their visit at the Faculty of Humanities November 16-19, 2015, they will give four lectures, demonstrating how a humanities understanding of the modern city may inform and inspire artistic and political interventions in urban and architectural culture.

Sandra Uskokovic, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor at the University of Dubrovnik, Department of Arts and Restoration (Croatia). She is the author of three books: Modern Architecture in the Heritage of Dubrovnik, Contemporay Design in Historic Settings & Architect Lovro Perkovic: Sensibility of Space Design, and has published numerous articles in academic and artistic journals. Since 2015, she is co-ordinating the Balkan regional urban platform “Urban Hum“. Her primary areas of research interest encompass theories of architecture, modern architecture, urban culture, performance art, cultural studies and cultural heritage.

Boris Bakal is director of the artistic platform Shadow Casters (Zagreb, Croatia), and a multimedia and theater artist. For more than thirty years, he has authored theatre and film projects, performances, installations and multimedia artworks which were presented at festivals and exhibitions in over 20 countries worldwide (including Bologna Cultural Capital of Europe 2000, Akcent/Prague, Eurokaz/Zagreb, BITEF/Belgrade, INTERFERENCES/Cluj, MESS/Sarajevo and others). Since 2015, he is co-ordinating the Balkan regional urban platform “Urban Hum”.

Lecture 1:
Hypertextualization and Resocialization of Commonly Shared Spaces

Monday 16 November, 10-12 (KUA2, 16.4.11)

Man is Space: Vitić Dances is a multiyear community art project on a 10-storey condominium building in Zagreb (Croatia), built by the architect Ivo Vitić. This masterpiece of  modern architecture, registered as a national monument, is in a deteriorating state, and threatens the lives of its 256 inhabitants.

This artivism project re-creates and socializes a commonly shared space through intensive artistic presence by unifying tenants to collaborate for its preservation. Vitić Dances reveals the importance of interactions between the artefacts, spaces, stakeholders, and the varied configurations and effects they can produce, redefining the building as a network of relationships, i.e. urban assemblage.

Lecture 2:
Urban Hum

Monday 16 November, 13-15 (KUA2, 16.4.76)

Urban Hum – a regional Balkan urban platform – proposes hybrid artistic, anthropological, urban and social presentations of selected urban, public spaces. Urban Hum is creating a tool for artists, architects, urban planners, politicians and historians, in their rethinking and reconceptualization of the city as a vibrant, dynamic, and sustainable habitat, while aiming to serve the citizens in proposing and implementing their solutions. This platform is inspired by a desire to create new vocabularies, imaginations and strategies for action that are often absent in urban writings but might bring about a radically different city.

Lecture 3:
Recollecting City / Recollecting Time

Wednesday 18 November, 15-17 (KUA2, 15A.1.13)

Recollecting City / Recollecting Time is Shadow Casters' project that created a multimedia archive of urban events and used it as the tool for studying the hyper-textuality of space and urban intangible heritage. Recollecting City / Recollecting Time was intended as a creative investigation of the broader context of artistic and political actions in public spaces. The project strove to capture fragile and ephemeral aspects of past events by searching for memories of individuals – artists, journalists, or accidental passer-by's – in various forms: from material ones to oral histories. The collected materials were mainly formed through two creative outputs of reflective and critical presentation: Open Offices and Wall Newspapers.

Lecture 4:
Choreography of Dubrovnik

Thursday 19 November, 10-12 (KUA1, 21.1.49)

Recent redistribution of property, capital investment, new market economy, and tremendous tourism flows buoyed up by a wave of political and social transformation in Dubrovnik that have led to the drastic gentrification of the area. Despite the economic activities related to the increase of tourism, the inhabitants tend to abandon the Old city. Dubrovnik is nowadays experiencing the consequences of 'museification' and the impact of mass tourism with a series of isolated buildings that have imposed an unnatural homogeneity on a historic district originally characterized by diversity of expression and functions.